Homeowner keeps alleged knife-wielding burglar at bay with .357

John Thompson • Feb 16, 2012 at 5:29 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A homeowner armed with a .357 magnum pistol held a suspected burglar armed with a knife until Carter County deputies arrived on Tuesday afternoon.

Deputy Nick Andes said he was responding to a burglary in progress call on Panhandle Road in which the homeowner had fired at least one shot at the suspect. When Andes arrived, he said, he found the suspected burglar, identified as Lucas Ray Williams, 23, 101 Dameron Ridge Road, Erwin, sitting under the carport with his hands up. Andes took Williams into custody.

Andes said the homeowner, Matthew James Abel, said he saw Williams coming out of the utility room armed with a large knife in his jacket pocket. Abel, fearing for his safety, said he pointed his pistol at Williams and told him to stop. Abel said Williams took a step toward him, putting him in fear of his safety. Abel fired a warning shot into the ground near Williams. Abel then told him to lay the knife down and sit on the ground while he called 911.

After Williams was arrested, Andes said his prisoner told his side of the story. The deputy reported that Williams told him he tried to enter the main part of Abel’s house but found the doors locked. Williams then went to the utility room, which was not locked, and urinated into a mason jar. Williams said he then saw a 15-inch kitchen knife with an 8-inch blade sitting in the utility room. He said he put it in his pocket for protection against wild animals.

Andes said Williams had a white crystalline substance on the front of his jacket, which he said appeared to be some type of synthetic drug, possibly bath salts.

Abel told Andes that Williams had attempted to enter the residence at 3:15 in the morning. At that time, Abel said, he and his wife had told Williams not to come back.

Williams was charged with aggravated burglary and unlawful carrying of a weapon. He is scheduled to answer the charges in Sessions Court on March 12.

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